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Blog - What do you let your Top Performers get away with? by Tracy Powley

What do you let your Top Performers get away with? by Tracy Powley

Posted by Debbie Stanfield 08/01/13

PornThere was a discussion on radio 2 on the Jeremy Vine show recently about the amount of people viewing porn from their PCs at work. One of the women in the discussion suggested she would turn a blind eye if the worker was a good performer in every other way.

We don’t think it’s acceptable in any circumstances to view porn at work, but it does raise a question that frequently comes up in running management courses; “If my top performer is not quite displaying the behaviour I would want, isn’t it Ok, because they get results and do a good job overall?”

Often managers are afraid to tackle these kinds of behavioural issues, for fear that their key performers will leave.
But what happens if you turn a blind eye? What message does this send out to the rest of the team? And what does it say about you as a manager?

It is easy to underestimate the demotivating effect poor behaviour can have on others. We worked with a sales team where the highest biller outperformed the rest of the team by some way. But they were doing this through some sharp practices and very selfish ways of working.  It was years before a manager was brave enough to tackle the situation. The sales person in question did leave the company, but the team didn’t fall apart and the revenue, while it dipped in the short term, didn’t disappear. In fact, the remaining team not only made up the shortfall, but actually generated much more, as their motivation and productivity increased.

Behaviour is part of overall performance at work and should be treated as such. Managers should have the confidence to tackle inappropriate behaviour, no matter how good the rest of someone’s performance. It will pay dividends in the long run.

Click here for more guidance on managing inappropriate behaviour at work …

Debbie Stanfield
Debbie Stanfield

I joined Stella and Tracy at Focal Point in 2003 and have seen both the Company and my role evolve during this time. I now work closely with the management team to achieve and improve business efficiently. To re-energise myself after a day in the office, I like to go to Zumba classes in the evening!

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